Creativity is important to me. Mega important. I get so much joy out of building something.
Creativity gives you an end product; a tangible marker of your time, effort and emotion. I know that the traditional view of creativity is painting in a light filled studio, writing poetry in a moleskin journal at a wine bar or someone’s latest tattoo – but these days my creativity is entirely more digital. And takes place while wearing pajamas and mainlining Earl Grey.
My digital creative outlet has come about for a couple of reasons. The big one is that I live in a London flat, which for anyone in the know means that my bed touches two walls and if I set up some sort of creative space I would no longer have anywhere to stand in my bedroom. And with London life being as exhausting as anything, a creative outlet that requires extensive cleanup is just a massive and conclusive no in my books. The other reason I turned digital is that I now have a place to put it…social networks aren’t just for trolls and shoe selfies. I know that blogging is a hobby and a money maker but for me it all comes down to creativity.
This blog and the social media attached ticks so many boxes for me, and because I am a super dork I have done a pie chart to show you what I mean.
Things that are purely creative for me are all about lightness. They either are created to make someone else smile (like the video I made for my dad) or just to make me smile (like my Instagram at the moment, the picture at the top of this post). They are never going to hang in a gallery or make me famous, they are just fun – and in the case of Snapchat they don’t even survive longer than 24 hours. To be happy, truly happy, I need to give up some of my time (time that I would rather spend watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix) on nonsense pursuits just to build something from nothing, just for the hope of a smile.
Snapchat is an interesting one come to think of it, it’s a social platform that I have only just discovered and have fallen head over heels for. I know a lot of normal people use it to document their lives or their travel, but for me it is far closer aligned with the plays I used to put on as a three year old. It is me acting up in front of the camera, putting on a show that I only conceived seconds earlier to a captive audience of doting adults. And my god I like making people laugh.
I am really thankful that I found a way to use digital as my creative outlet. My parents house is covered in decades of my emotional artwork, an attic full of canvas that I can’t bare to part with. But digital? Digital can be shared and experienced around the world. I can create it using nothing more than an iPhone (the birthday video was all filmed on my phone) and Photoshop for which I pay £8 a month (the Instagram grid was all thrown together on Photoshop). £8 a month is cheaper than stocking up on paint or coloured pencils and the biggest benefit is that Photoshop is portable and mess free.
I know from the outside spending so much time making your Instagram photos cross over the grid is just a waste of time, but for me it is creative meditation. When I think of the extent that some people go to for happiness, I will take playing with pixels any day.